In the wild world of dating in 2019, a single person can encounter any number of oddities and atrocities. Online dating sites and apps have thrown a whole new monkey wrench into an already sometimes complicated and lengthy process. Add that to the fact that people are overall more career-focused and busier than ever, and the entire courting experience can become exhaustive. It’s almost as if we’ve all forgotten how to act! Being a single, straight female, I can only speak from my perspective, but it seems regardless of age, race, gender or sexual orientation, we’re all losing a little bit of respect for the opposite sex with every swipe of our phone screen. I’ve decided to put an emphasis on bringing back a little bit of traditional values into my dating expectations, and it is of my own humble opinion that these things never fail to make a good impression on a girl, regardless of how progressive or independent she is. Guys, good manners and respect NEVER go out of style, so read ahead for my advice on how to better your batting average with the ladies, or even if you’ve gotten too comfortable in your long-term relationship, bringing back these little acts can spice things up.
- ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS open the door for a lady. Whether it’s a car door or walking into a room or building, open the door and step aside and allow her to step in ahead of you. Don’t you dare push your way through a door and let it swing shut on her. I had a date do this who initially seemed nice and normal. After doing this repeatedly, it made me feel unnoticed and left behind as he just charged ahead leaving me to catch up in the dust. Straight up, it is rude. And opening the car door doesn’t have to be something you do every single time you get in and out, but if you are given the opportunity, take it. It is such a small simple gesture that is guaranteed to make a girl feel special.
- If you invite someone to meet you and it involves money, you better pay for it. Another one-time date I went on was the only guy I ever actually met off a dating app. He invited me to a French bistro for coffee in Charlotte, across the street from his office. I got there and he told me he’d already had 2 cups of coffee that morning and wouldn’t be having anything, but encouraged me to get something. When I placed my order, he stood there like an idiot staring at his phone while I dug out my Visa to pay for the $6 coffee I didn’t really want that HE had invited me to. At the end of the day, it’s $6. But I wouldn’t have been there had he not asked, which makes it his responsibility. I personally don’t believe in going “dutch” on dates. If you ask someone to join you because you like their company, be willing to pony up the cash for their meal or drink. And most of the time I will offer to pay at the next stop, be it for a round of drinks or a coffee and dessert. I’m not a free-loader, but whoever does the asking is doing the paying, that’s just the way it is.
- Put away your effing phone. Everyone is busy and extremely connected in this day and age. Do I expect someone to turn off their ringer and keep their phone in the car the entire time they’re with me? No. There is nothing wrong with glancing at a text or taking a brief work call. But if you take me for a cocktail and continuously go outside to talk business or stare at your fantasy football scores or scroll your Instagram feed, I’m going to assume my company isn’t very interesting for you and will never talk to you again. Treat a date like it is a job interview. Would you act that way in front of a potential employer? Have some sense and just be respectful.
- Don’t invite your friends. Dating is not a group activity. The point of dating someone is to get to know them, and it’s hard to do that when it isn’t one-on-one. Of course you want to see if your friends approve of this potential partner and how they mesh with your circle, but straight out of the gate, no girl wants to be fighting for attention with your “bros.” If you have plans with your boys later, maybe go out for a one-on-one dinner and let her know early on that you will be meeting up with them later in the evening and invite her if you really enjoy her company. At that point she has an option in the matter and knows going in what the circumstances are.
- Don’t play games. If you had a nice time on the date, text her when you get home within an hour or two and just let her know. No, don’t be creepy and message her from the driveway about how you can’t stop thinking about her. But you don’t have to play the “wait 3 days” card either. At that point I am going to assume I was ghosted or that you had someone else to occupy your time and I’ve moved on. Simply shoot a message within a few hours of parting thanking them for a lovely time and stating that you are interested in seeing them again very soon. And do NOT leave that open ended. At least make a tentative plan and stick to it. So often people will say “we definitely need to get together again soon,” and never follow through. Make sure to suggest a plan then follow up the next day to set it. Everyone’s time is valuable so get in there while you have the chance.
- Put a little effort into upgrading your life. You don’t need to hire an interior designer to come over and give your 1 bedroom apartment the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” treatment. But getting yourself a solid sheet set that includes A TOP SHEET and a decent comforter that doesn’t look like a sleeping bag isn’t asking for much, nor is the expectation that you wash them from time to time. Spend $10 on a candle at TJ Maxx, run a brush around the inside of your toilet every now and then when you see something clinging and keep up with your laundry so your towels don’t smell like mildew. A big pro tip here that you will thank me for later- buy a $2 pack of makeup remover wipes to keep under your sink. In the event that you get lucky and have a sleepover, this kind of courtesy cannot be repaid by a lady who wasn’t packed or planning for an overnight trip. You may even want to consider keeping those free toothbrushes from the dentist that you could offer her for one-time use. Play on playa!
I hope these nuggets of wisdom will stick with some of you. Preferably the next guy I go on a date with!! It doesn’t take a whole lot of time, money or effort to be a good person, so make it a priority and it will always pay off. Happy hunting fellow singles!!